Thursday, September 04, 2008

Skunk Hunt

I could see it coming a mile away.

As fall approaches and we resume our traditional bonfires out by the fire-pit, I could foresee a crisp clear night enjoying the roaring fire and each other’s company right up until the moment a skunk sprayed one of us while getting more wood from the wood pile.

A skunk moved into the wood pile this summer and I’ve been plotting on how to take him out. I discovered him one Saturday morning earlier this year while mowing the lawn. I roared up in my mower and we each surprised the other and I can only imagine the look of fear and shock on my face matched that of the skunk.

He tried to squeeze into the wood pile but wasn’t in front of his (or her?) den entrance. He turned to look at me and I though for sure I was about to get very stinky. I didn’t stay to see if he raised his tail- I pulled back on the mower, went full-speed into reverse and got out of there.

So, how to get rid of him…hmm….

I thought about poison, using my BB gun, a kill trap and much more. I couldn’t bear killing the bugger so I looked for an alternative. I found one called “The Skunker.”

It’s a live trap that allows the skunk to slide into a tube seeking the bait (dry cat food was recommended) at the other end, and then WHAM. The trap door at the back end of the tube slides closed and the skunk is trapped. He (or she) can’t turn around, can’t lift their tail to spray, and can’t even see you as you approach and pick up the trap. Perfect.

The only problem was I didn’t know what to do once I caught it. I thought about leaving it in there until it died (only briefly… but that is just too cruel), and a friend suggested a tie a rope to the handle and lower it into our creek for 10 minutes. Couldn’t do it.

I found out Williamson County Animal Control will come and pick up live trapped animals and remove them at no cost. They call when the trap is ready to be picked up. I have no idea what they do with the skunks after they pick them up, and frankly, I don’t want to know.

By the way… the trap is AMAZING. Its brilliant and worked great. I set it out for 3 nights, and the first two nights we caught Raccoons (which we immediately let go). Here is a video from our second night: